Demon & Wizards is a power metal band that was conceived as a side project of the metal bands Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. It is made up of the vocalist for Blind Guardian, Hansi Kursch, and the guitarist of Iced Earth, Jon Schaffer. Schaffer writes the music and Kürsch writes the lyrics. The band's line-up during the recording of their first album in 1999 also featured Mark Prator, who was the drummer on a few Iced Earth albums, and Jim Morris doing most of the guitar solos, Morris also having worked with Iced Earth in the past.
Band Name and OriginsEdit
The original goal of the band was to forge the different musical styles of both Iced Earth's dark melodies and Blind Guardian's powerful vocals into one sound. In fact, according to the musicians, the band name is meant to describe the two styles: the self-proclaimed demon-like themes and sounds of Iced Earth and wizard-like themes and sounds of Blind Guardian (the moniker "Demons & Wizards" was inspired by Schaffer's wife always referring to him and Hansi as "Demons and Angels". Hansi always corrected her, since he claims to "not be at all angelic", and that it is more properly stated "Demons and Wizards", in reference to Uriah Heep's album of the same name). The band met with a fair deal of commercial success, though not as much as either of their individual bands.
The idea for the band arose in the spring of 1997 when Kürsch and Schaffer wanted to make music together, after being friends for several years.
The Dark TowerEdit
Much of Demon & Wizard's past work has been highly based on The Dark Tower Series. Both Hansi and Jon took interest in the novels and wanted to do tributes to the series. It wasn't until their second album, Touched by the Crimson King, that they started making their songs related to The Dark Tower (although some argue 'Path of Glory' from their previous album is). Out of the ten songs on the album, nine are originals (the tenth being a cover) and four of those nine songs are about aspects in The Dark Tower.
The three main songs the band has done about The Dark Tower are: Crimson King (based on the charcter by the same name and Randall Flagg, Terror Train (about Blaine the Mono), and The Gunslinger (of Roland Deschain).
See also: Touched by the Crimson King, for more information.
In a May 2009 interview, when asked about what projects he would be working on after taking a vacation, guitarist Jon Schaffeur stated:
“You’re going to have to wait and find out my man. I mean, I’m just not ready to divulge yet. I’ve got a few irons in the fire and some things I’m very excited about. Hansi and I have planned late in 2009 to get together to do DEMONS (and WIZARDS) stuff so that’s going to be cool. We saw each other in Cologne (earlier this year) and made plans and I think it’s realistic to say that there will be a third DEMONS and WIZARDS album probably mid- to late 2010. We’re going to have two song writing sessions. We are committed to doing the bulk of this in-person. One of the things I felt like from the last Demons album was that we had this window of opportunity where we had to get it done and we kind of let time dictate the schedule instead of our feelings and that was probably a mistake. I mean I’m proud of that record (“Touched by the Crimson King” 2005) and it sold killer and it’s a good album but I think Hansi and I are capable of a lot more especially when we get back to the root reasons of why we did this thing together.
"We are not going to be bogged down by schedules – we’re going to do this as we see fit and we’re not going to let a particular window of opportunity dictate that this is when we have to do it. We’re going to do it as it feels natural – and if we feel that in Spring of 2010 that we don’t have the songs yet then we’ll push it back. I mean, we don’t have to do it on any specific schedule. We had a really long talk about it and I’m really looking forward to it because I always enjoy working with Hansi and just spending time with him. So, our first get-together is going to be late in the year, but before that I’ve got a few things going on and like I said, we’ll announce it in due course.”
On March 15 of 2011, singer Hansi Kursch posted an update on the official Blind Guardian website, containing the following news:
"As we had time to share some serious moments with each other during the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise (somewhere on the oceans of time) Jon [Schaffer; Iced Earth & Sons of Liberty] and I had finally found the chance to put our minds together for a possible next Demons & Wizards album. We cheerfully simultaneously announced our wish to start working on it as quickly as possible. Although time is an issue for both of us we nonetheless decided to start songwriting together during the European summer festival season when Jon will be in Europe for Iced Earth performances. During that season we will use every possible moment to complete as much material as possible."
As of now the band has not expressed any further interest in more Dark Tower related songs and albums.